Taiwan tops `Asian Dragons'
Taiwan's private consumption accounted for 62.08 percent of its GDP this year, ranking it at the top of the four "Asian Dragons," the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management and Development (IMD) said in the IMD 2006 World Competitiveness Yearbook. Taiwan placed 18th in the world in terms of its private consumption ratio, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said, noting that private consumption in Taiwan has seen continuous growth in quality over the past few years. In the evaluation, Hong Kong was ranked 27th, while South Korea placed 45th and Singapore 57th, according to the IMD yearbook.
Court rules against Compal
A US jury on Friday found Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) guilty of infringing a Samsung patent and ordered the Taiwan-based computer company to pay US$9 million in damages. The suit filed by Samsung Electronics Co in federal district court in San Francisco accused Compal of using the South Korea company's patented keyboard technology in its notebook computers from April 1999 to March 2002. "We are very happy," lead Samsung attorney Mark Fowler said as members of his legal team hugged and exchanged "high-fives" after US District Court chief judge Vaughn Walker excused the jury.
PS3 shopping turns violent
Shopping for the new Sony PlayStation 3 video game console proved dangerous on Friday, with a shooting, a mugging and a stampede marking Connecticut's opening day sales. At 3:15am, two armed robbers shot Michael Penkala, 21, of Webster, Massachusetts, outside a Wal-Mart store in Putnam, Connecticut, as he waited in line to be one of the first to own the machine, police said. Hours after Penkala's shooting, police said that a 24-year-old man was mugged by as many as seven teenagers after buying a PlayStation at a mall in Manchester. Meanwhile, in Meriden, some in a crowd of roughly 700 people who were lined up outside a Best Buy store on Friday morning tried to shove their way in.
Universal sues MySpace
Universal Music Group on Friday sued MySpace.com, claiming the online social-networking hub illegally encourages its users to share music and music videos on the site without permission. In the lawsuit, filed in US District Court, Universal Music contends MySpace, a unit of News Corp, attempts to shield itself from liability by requiring users agree to grant the Web site a license to publish the content they upload to the site. Users, however, have no such authority over works they don't own.
Reader's Digest okays bid
The Reader's Digest Association, the company responsible for publishing some of the world's best-read magazines, agreed to a US$1.6 billion takeover offer on Thursday. Reader's Digest, an 84-year-old company that publishes the pint-size magazine, agreed to be acquired for US$1.6 billion by investors led by Ripplewood Holdings. The offer is a 43 percent premium over the company's August stock price, when shares bottomed at US$11.83. The investor group, which includes Merrill Lynch Capital and the J. Rothschild Group, will also assume US$800 million in debt, bringing the total purchase to US$2.4 billion.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS: The transferred orders might not provide an immediate revenue boost given local chipmakers’ high utilization rates, a senior analyst said Shares of local contract chipmakers yesterday rose as much as the 10 percent daily limit, as investors bet on orders being transferred from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際) after the US imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chipmaker. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) shares soared 10 percent to close at NT$27.5 as 380 million shares changed hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. UMC is the world’s No. 3 foundry by revenue, followed by SMIC, according to data from market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技). UMC has product and customer portfolios similar to those of SMIC, TrendForce said, adding that UMC offers 14-nanometer and